If you are looking for the epic motorcycle journey blog that I've written, please see the Miles By Motorcycle site I put together. 
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  • Bad Precedent: VoIP Backlash From Phone Companies
    10/21/2005 11:16PM
    This kind of thing could kill the net, and quick. As reported on Slashdot:

    "An article from the online edition of IEEE Spectrum says phone companies in France, Germany, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have announced they will block VoIP calls on their networks. Using new software from Narus Inc., the carriers can detect data packets belonging to VoIP applications and block the calls. Gotta love Ma Bell." From the article: "Narus's software does far more than just frustrate Skype users. It can also diagnose, and react to, denial-of-service attacks and dangerous viruses and worms as they wiggle through a network. It makes possible digital wiretaps, a capability that carriers are required by law to have. However, these positive applications for Narus's software may not be enough to make Internet users warm to its use. 'Protecting its network is a legitimate thing for a carrier to do ... But it's another thing for a Comcast to charge more if I use my own TiVo instead of the personal video recorder they provide, or for Time Warner, which owns CNN, to charge a premium if I want to watch Fox News on my computer.'"

    Very bad. But you can see how monopolies would do something like this. You an read the full article here.

  • More bad News: Tech Companies Swimming In Lawsuits
    10/21/2005 11:12PM
    No doubt thanks to the patent system and copyright silliness, as mentioned on Slashdot.org:

    "A new survey shows that the tech industry places third after healthcare and energy companies in the number of lawsuits it deals with. It states that an average tech company faces 42 lawsuits currently, more than the insurance industry!" From the article: "An average U.S. technology company currently faces 42 lawsuits vs. 37 lawsuit for an average company. The tech industry places third, after healthcare and energy companies, in the number of lawsuits it deals with ... Needless to say, that's quite expensive. Nearly a third of these companies spend more than 2% of their gross revenue on legal expenses, according to one of the largest surveys of corporate counsel in America."

    You can read the full article here.

  • More XML-related patent silliness
    10/21/2005 2:31PM
    I don't even know what to say about this stuff any more: another company is now claiming that XML infringes on its patent.  At least the article mentions possible prior art.  SGML anyone?

  • PHP Succeeding Where Java Has Failed
    10/21/2005 1:00PM
    Oops. According to Slashdot.org:

    "Web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen recently announced his prediction that PHP will be more popular than Java for building web-based applications." From the article: "Wooing programmers is nothing new in the computing industry, where players constantly jockey to establish their products as an essential foundation. Indeed, many credit Microsoft's success to its highly regarded programming tools, which make it easier for developers to write software that run on Windows. PHP has caught on widely. About 22 million Web sites employ it, and useage is steadily increasing. About 450 programmers have privileges to approve changes to the software. Major companies that employ PHP include Yahoo, Lufthansa and Deutsche Telekom's T-Online." Meanwhilie, Piersky writes "Zend has announced its rival to .NET and J2EE, with the Zend PHP Framework. In a press release, they stated that it will be 'A Web application framework which will standardize the way PHP applications are built. The Zend PHP Framework will accelerate and improve the development and deployment of mission-critical PHP Web applications'. This will for part of Zend's PHP Collaboration Project"

    The article can be read here.

    This may not be good news for formVista.
  • OpenOffice 2.0 Released!
    10/20/2005 1:14PM
    OpenOffice 2.0 has now been officially released.

    See the Open Office Site.